Sunday, September 15, 2013

Andy's Movie Review: Halloween Movies Aren’t Always Scary

Movie Time
 by Andy Petty


There is something magical that happens after a hot, adventurous summer season. It's called autumn and it's a time for change. Days become shorter and shorter; nights become cooler and harvest has arrived. It's also a time to celebrate Halloween, one of my favorite times of the year. Here are some of my favorite Halloween treats. They capture the very essence of the night like none other.

Hocus Pocus - Walt Disney Pictures had been going through a lot of changes in the time this was made. They were producing older themed live-action films and this was one of them. Most, if not all, failed to find audiences and bombed at the box office. Hocus Pocus was definitely one of them. Much like a Christmas film, this movie has continued to entertain audiences year after year. To be honest, I can quote this entire film. When three witches prey on the wrong child to prolong their lives, the town-folk revolt and hang them for their crimes. Fast forward 300 years and only after a virgin lights their black flame candle, they are able to return to earth for one night to continue their mission of sucking the life out of all the children in Salem. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy play the dysfunctional sister witches. Enjoy this film with your family.

Trick-r-Treat - What automatically comes to your mind when thinking of Halloween? Ghosts, witches, vampires, werewolves, zombies, jack-o-lanterns, etc. etc. What about a movie that rolls all that into one anthology of screams, chills, comedy and horror? Unfortunately, this film that was planned for theaters back in 2007 didn’t see the light of day until 2009, and even then was sent directly to the home entertainment market. The wait was worth it and it exceeded every expectation possible and has become a Halloween tradition. Four stories intertwine on one Halloween night and we meet a spirit of Halloween that runs around in a burlap sack costume upholding the unwritten rules of all hallows eve. A principle who has a dark side, a group of teens who summon the spirits of some unlucky children killed on a school bus decades ago and a young woman who is stalked in the red riding hood tradition. All this and more are centered around a town that takes Halloween to the extreme. It makes you feel you haven't done enough for this awesome holiday.

Fun Size - This little comedy from Nickelodeon wasn't timed or marketed for it's release last October. Hopefully this season, and years to come, it will find an audience. Teenage Wren wants to spend her Halloween night at a party with her best friend April and hopefully hook up with a guy she's been admiring. However, her mother (played by Chelsea Handler) has other plans for her including babysitting her younger brother Albert while she goes to her own party. Like the classic 80's comedy "Adventures In Babysitting," anything and everything you can imagine goes wrong when Wren loses her brother during trick-r-treating. While the film plays out like a slapstick comedy, it has a lot of heart and soul at the core of the story. This is a great new Halloween movie that deserves to be seen.

Halloween II - Everyone talks about the original John Carpenter classic, but little talk about how great the sequel is. It picks up the moment after Jamie Lee Curtis has just battled the infamous Michael Myers and has now been sent to a local hospital. Unfortunately for everyone in Michael's path to kill Laurie, this hospital has become a house of living horrors. While the film was a critical and financial success, the six installments following this sequel haven't found their own ground to stand on until recent years. It's hard to live up to a masterpiece that has continued to scare audiences 40 years later and has remained a modern horror masterpiece in the eyes of movie lovers worldwide. So this season, don't stop with the original and continue on with director Rick Rosethal's ultra scary and claustrophobic thriller. You won't be able to hold your breath in scenes where an already crippled and distraught Laurie Strode is hopping down the dark hospital hallways trying to escape the masked maniac.

Have a great Halloween season and of course don't forget to watch "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." The important thing to do is to have fun…and have tons of candy! Happy Haunting!


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